I want to get into Research. Advice?

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    I'm a 22 year old RN with approximately 16 months of cardiac experience. I work in a acute care setting and I get to take care of really sick cardiac/pneumo patients. I work nights and my body surprisingly adopted quickly to the graveyard shift. I love working with cardiac patients and the people I work with, but sometimes I get so stressed out with the workload, events, etc. that I feel like I'm going to pass out. Stress is not so bueno for our body. Plus, I'm getting my BSN right now (hoping to graduate this december) and it only adds on top of other stress I'm having.

    My former teacher in nursing school was once a research and this got my attention quickly. She said the nature of job is good though I heard the paperwork. I don't mind reading, talking, charting, reviewing, etc. all day. I usually comb my chart like it was nobody's business. I love reading medication trials and such as well. Do you think this is a hard job? Does it pay well? Do you have to work on the weekends as well? I live in Texas by the way. Any advice how I can break in this job?

    Thank you so much!
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    I too have a cardiac background, 5 years PCU/ICU and 5 years Cardiology outpatient. I just signed on for a clinical research coordinator position with a private research clinic that does phase 1 to phase 4 trials. I start in 6 weeks, so I do not have a lot of detail, other than to say I am excited because I love reading through the research, and being very detailed in my documentation and paperwork. I am looking forward to a quieter environment and no more 12 hour hospital shifts. The research shows how damaging 12 hours shifts are to your health, in the long term. As much as I enjoyed the acute patient care challenges, 12 hours was exhausting and each year it became harder and harder to go to work happy, especially with young children at home. The pay is on track with outpatient nursing, and depends on experience and what responsibilities you're taking on. Remember, anything is negotiable!

    I am frustrated that Nursing continues to sit at the bottom of the priority list as far as improving the workplace. The EHR was not designed with nursing in mind, the 12 hours shifts compromise our health, the pay and benefits do not balance out, nurses are still not well represented in the board room, and nurses by law, are not allowed to bill for their services - which needs to change! There are parts of nursing we all love, however, nursing is not loving many of us back, and in the long run, administrators and whole communities will suffer. Nurse can diagnose (how many times have you saved a physicians backside?), and professionally we need to work towards being providers of wellness addressing obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes.

    I plan to use my experience in research to learn what specifically is measured, and how, for different types of clinical research (medications vs devices). How is data collected and managed, and where data is it documented. With a strong research knowledge base, I will have a stronger leg to stand on in Informatics. I also have my CLNC (legal nursing). Like I said, Nurses have not positioned themselves to take on these bigger issues. I hope to change that. Nurses need to think in terms of quantifying our value in health care. I advise going into Research with a plan. What do you hope to learn, what can you give to the research team (strong clinical skills, especially for Phase 1 trials), and what are you going to do with your research experience in 5 years. Get on LinkedIn, start connecting with others, and see where you can go! Best of Success to you!
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    Thank so you much for your response and for your word! I feel like I'm ready to take in any challenges they throw at me!

    Couldn't agree with you more. I would love to see more changes in nursing. Well, you and I can tackle the Washington but then you already know the conclusion to that. I feel like lobbying right now only if I have enough money!

    You're going to be a great clinical research nurse. Let me know how you're doing in your job that way I can push myself through and land a job.
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    Congrats on the new job, USNurse! Leaving the bedside and going into research a year ago was the best career decision I've made. I absolutely LOVE my job (mine is similar to a CRC, but we don't do a lot of industry/pharmaceutical research, as I work for a university), and next fall I plan to enroll in a Master's program in Clinical Research Management.
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    @klone: where will you be enrolling in your Master's program for clinical research management?
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    My plans have changed and I'm actually going to be starting an MSN in Leadership in June, but the program I was going to enroll in is at Arizona State University.


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